Category Archives: Britain’s Towns and Villages

A Glimpse of Britain in a Day

From Calais in the north of France, we crossed the English Channel under the water..
Here shown are vehicles entering the Shuttle train of the Eurotunnel which will convey them to Dover, the south of England terminal.

In England, you can eat breakfast anytime of the day. Yes, including dinnertime!

Any visitor to the UK must try “The Full English” or more commonly called “English Breakfast”.
It comprises these basic components: tomatoes, bacon, egg, mushroom, baked beans and hash browns.

Period buildings converted into apartments

Terraced housing, a result of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century when people flocked to the cities
to look for work and somewhre to live, so housing were put up quickly and as many were built as was possible.

Traces of glorious pasts abound.

Tabloid headline display stands outside a newsagent’s shop.

Old churches turned into mixed-used development.
In Dover, this church tower and its facade is the only structure left after it was bombed in the first World War,
renovated and caught fire in 2007. The land where it stands is now turned into apartments and shops.

Red poppy crowns are common sight on War Memorials in Britain, Every village, town and city has a war memorial
honoring the dead soldiers of WW1 and 2

Omnipresent on the High Street are Charity Shops

An important part of British life is the PUB. This is where the rich and the poor can gather in one place
to drink, eat and socialize. Sadly, more and more traditional pubs are disappearing in favour of development.

Coming from the Mainland where weight is not much of a problem, in Britain, I always get shocked
seeing an alarming number of Obese people walking the streets..

The clocktower of an 18th century paper mill that became a success in its time.
It has closed down a long time ago and awaiting conversion into both residential and business use.

A very English scene: covered wooden gates leading into old churchyards. They are called Lych Gates.

Broken flint stones used in building walls. This is the 12th century Buckland Church of St Andrew in Dover.

Flint stones are found in chalk, such as this one we stumbled upon while walking atop the chalky White Cliffs of Dover

Long been associated with graveyards, the Yew Tree is a symbol of everlasting life and resurrection.
This is the 1,000 year old Buckland Yew that stands next to the Church of St Andrew

The red berries of the Buckland Yew, they may look harmless but the seed is poisonous

The Celtic cross used as gravestone marker is a common feature in old cemeteries

The delightfully fragrant honeysuckle is almost a permanent sight in English gardens

The iconic red telephone box… but they will be phased out soon so go to Britain now and photograph them while they are there

Castles: famous ones or forgotten ruins, occupied or haunted

The Port of Dover is Great Britain’s Gateway to Europe and is recognised as one of the busiest passenger ferry ports in the world.

The best-loved pastime of the British is walking in the countryside

To complement Britain’s love for countryside walking, STILES such as this wooden barrier are installed
in Right of Way easements to prevent farm animals from wandering away.

Wild blackberries are a common feature of British hedgerows and woodlands.

Blueberries is becoming the most popular soft fruit in Britain.

A British icon, the Mini

It is a country where names of streets are as weird as The Butts….Arguments Road…or simply The Street.

 

The British are patriotic, they display their flag design on practically everywhere.

A common sight is the flag of England waving on building facades.
The flag of England together with those of Scotland and Ireland, superimposed together,
form the Union Jack, the national flag of Great Britain.

And oh, another permanent building facade sight is a Security Alarm System (pointing arrow on the left).

The British have a love affair with caravans. It gives them the chance to go on holiday with their
movable home at the first available time off from school or from work.

It’s time to go home, and here is the true star, the White Cliffs of Dover.

A beautiful Sunset viewed from the English Channel to wrap up our trip.

Warwick, England

Despite a busy agenda in The Midlands, we managed to do a bit of exploring in Warwickshire, more particulary in the historic town of Warwick, famous for its university, magnificent castle, the setting of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and more so, a neighbouring town of William Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon.

I have been to many British towns which are sadly dominated by cloned housing estates and cloned high streets but Warwick impressed me a lot because it has managed to preserve bits of its medieval, Tudor and Victorian architecture. 

These wobbly looking  structures stacked together used to be the meeting place for the Warwick guilds since  their construction in the 14th century. In 1571 Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester,  acquired the buildings to be made as retirement home for the veterans of the Queen’s Army.  They became known as Lord Leycester’s Hospital although it has never been used as a medical establishment.    


These images of a chained bear holding on to a staff dot the retaining wall that supports the Hospital.  It was the emblem of Robert Dudley.   

 

Timber-framed structures are all over the town of Warwick

 

 

 

This is the first time I am seeing a differently shaped British mailbox. It is in the style of a Doric column made in 1856 by the Birmingham company of Smith & Hawkes.

The timber-framing here was done in a decorative way, I love it!    It was built in 1634 and well maintained, indeed!

The Gothic-style church of St. Mary Immaculate opened in 1860.  The Lord of the Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkien, got married here in 1916.

West gate walkway through the old town

The ceiling of the West gate tunnel

 

The historic St John’s House which houses the museum of the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers

Shops of Warwick 

We went inside this shop named “Exquisite Mistakes” curious to find out why the signs are almost screaming “SALE” and “CLOSING DOWN SALE”.  Could it be that the owner has realized she has made a mistake in opening it in the first place?  Ooppss, naughty me!

 

It must be so elegantly spicy that it won the “Most Loved Restaurant” award..

What I desperately need at the moment..

 

Gearing up for Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Weird Bits of Warwick


Strange to see a statue of a boxer in the center of Warwick town.  He is Randolph Adolphus Turpin, the first boxer to become Middleweight Champion of the World since 1891 by beating Sugar Ray Robinson.

Now don’t laugh. This is actually a street name and I’m glad I don’t live in it…

History of the place goes that in medieval times, this spot which is just outside the town walls, was the practice area for archery games.